Mumbai college student Ishrat Jahan, allegedly killed in a fake encounter in Gujarat in June 2004, was kept in the same farmhouse as Kauserbi before they were killed in November 2005.
This was disclosed to the CBI by Rajesh Jirawala, the owner of Arham farmhouse on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, after he was arrested in the Sohrabuddin case on Tuesday.
“This admission can prove devastating for the Gujarat police because it will establish that Ishrat and three others were killed in staged shootout and then a story was concocted that they were on a fidayeen mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,” a Gujarat police officer told HT.
Despite a probe by metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang having concluded that Jahan and her three associates were killed “in cold blood” in police custody, the Modi government has maintained that they were killed in a genuine encounter.
Tamang implicated former Deputy Commissioner of Police DG Vanzara and others in Jahan’s murder. Vanzara is one of 13 police officials accused of murdering Sohrabuddin and Kauserbi.
The Gujarat government went to the high court and got a stay on Tamang's report, saying he had exceeded his jurisdiction. This despite the fact that the chief judicial magistrate of Ahmedabad had ordered the inquiry. The Supreme Court later sought a probe into the alleged fake encounter, referred to in the Tamang report.
Tamang’s 243-page probe report said officials of Gujarat’s crime branch abducted Jahan and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004 and brought them to Ahmedabad. The four were killed on the night of June 14 in police custody but the police claimed an “encounter” had taken place the next morning on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
Tamang said there was no evidence to link the victims with the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and there was nothing to indicate that they had come to kill Modi.